The Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, on Friday said the recent defeat of the People Democratic Party at both national and state elections did not come to Nigerians as a surprise because “we saw it coming.”
Aliyu, who spoke in Minna as a special guest of honour at a convocation lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, argued that the refusal of the PDP to honour the “single-term agreement” led to the party’s heavy defeat at both the Presidential and governorship polls.
The lecture was titled ‘The role of Law in the enhancement of socio-economic growth of the nation’.
The governor said, “Many of us saw it coming. When I reminded us that we had an agreement for one term(that President Goodluck Jonathan had agreed to run for one term), they nearly crucified me. When I led the G7(group of seven aggrieved PDP governors), they did not do what we wanted them to do until five members left and they did what we asked them to do.”
Addressing Prof. Ahmed Alkali, Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Aliyu said, “Many of us saw the defeat coming. Even when I told some of us (PDP members) that we had a one-term agreement, they nearly crucified me. Now, sir (to Alkali), you have seen the results.
“I recall also that when APC(All Progressives Congress) came on board(emerged as a political party), I was the first person to say I was very happy that ‘now, we have a strong party to put PDP on its toes’ and many people were asking that ‘are you really a member’.
“Up until the last elections, the allegation against me had always been that I was a supporter of APC; and now, you have seen the results.”
Aliyu listed other reasons he believed accounted for the failure of the PDP at the polls.
He added, “Nigerians wanted a change and Nigerians got the change. You will have many reasons. One, PDP has been around for 16 years and there is no way you will be around for 16 years and you will not make mistakes. So, there are many reasons that will be put together and we will be able to understand and guide people.”
The governor explained that corruption did not end at stealing money but indulging in malpractices, admonishing people to desist from acts that were capable of destroying our economy.
Speaking after former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Legbo Kutigi, delivered a lecture, Aliyu argued that not only government officials were corrupt, adding that corruption “starts from the home.”
He called for devolution of power in the country, saying politics was about bringing development to the society and not to enrich oneself.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Governing Council, FUTM, Prof. Ahmed Alkali, said, “Nigeria is at a crossroads because 2015 is a year of political transition.
“If Nigeria must fight corruption, we must all check ourselves to ensure that at all levels, we kill corruption. Anything we do in excess is corruption.”